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Chole Masala (Nutritious Chick Peas in a Spicy Gravy)

Updated on December 15, 2011
Chole or chana masala
Chole or chana masala

Chole, also known as chole masala, chhole, or chana masala is a legume dish popular throughout south Asia, primarily northern India and Pakistan. Its primary ingredient is chick peas which are also known as chana. This is a spicy hearty dish that's nutritious and easy to prepare. Its perfect for a lazy sunday afternoon served with rice or roti. A nice switch off from your standard chili soup. Give it a try!

The average nutritional information* for one serving of chole masala, approx. 250 gms depending on preparation:

Calories: 243; Sodium: 677 mg; Total Fat: 5 g; Potassium: 450 mg; Saturated: 1 g; Total Carbs: 44 g; Polyunsaturated: 2 g; Dietary Fiber: 9 g; Monounsaturated: 1 g; Sugars: 2 g; Trans: 0 g; Protein: 9 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Vitamin A: 13%; Calcium: 8%; Vitamin C: 60%; Iron18%


Serves 4. Preparation time: 30-45 minutes.


1 cup dried chick peas, soaked overnight

3 cups water

1 tablespoon oil

1 1/2" fresh ginger, minced

4-5 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 cup minced onions

1 cup chopped tomatoes

2-3 green chili peppers, chopped

1 bunch fresh corriander leaves, or cilantro

1/2 tsp hing or asafoedita (may be omitted if you can't locate it)

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp corriander powder

1 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp chole masala if locatable

salt to taste


After draining and rinsing the chick peas which have been soaked overnight, add them with 3 cups water to a pressure cooker and cook to 4 whistles. If you don't have a pressure cooker, cook in a covered pot until tender. This may take the addition of just a bit more water. After the peas are cooked, retain all the liquid.

While your chick peas are cooking, in a separate fry pan or small wok (khadia) heat your oil and add the chopped onions. Cook on medium high until the onions are translucent and soft. Turn the head down to medium, then add your ginger, garlic and chilis. Fry until onions are nicely browned. Turn the heat back up to medium high and add your chopped tomatoes and cook them down, using your spoon or spatula to mash them, until you have paste in your pan. Add a little of the reserved liquid (3 or 4 tablespoons should be sufficient) to the paste, turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer about 15 minutes.

After the simmering is complete, add your chick peas and reserved liquid to the paste and stir. If you have chole masala spice, add a heaping teaspoon at this point and stir it in. Raise heat to medium high and heat until mixture is bubbling, then reduce heat, cover and simmer another 15 minutes. Toss in your fresh cilantro and serve.

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    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 6 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      This sounds good. The evenings are cold here now and this dish would warm a person up. Thanks for the recipe. I will try it soon.